Newest Rising Stars of Manga Winners Announced by Tokyopop


Los Angeles, CA (March 31, 2005) - After much
passionate debate, TOKYOPOP is eager to share with the world
the winners of our fifth Rising Stars of Manga
competition. In addition to monetary prizes and publication
in TOKYOPOP's upcoming Rising Stars of Manga Vol. 5
graphic novel anthology, all winners will have the
opportunity to pitch and score their own future book deals

Grand Prize winner, Mail Order Ninja, a hilarious tale
about a boy and his pet ninja, was created by the
dynamic team of writer Joshua Elder (age 24) from Chicago
and artist Erich Owen (age 26), an illustrator from
Knoxville, TN. Elder and Owen will split $2,500 and
fight over the Grand Prize trophy in mortal combat. When
alerted to the news, Joshua was heard to remark: "This
is about the coolest thing that has ever happened to
me... Especially considering that I totaled my car this

The ultra-cerebral story of people and their personal
demons, Baggage, created by student Roald Muñoz (age
20) of Naperville, IL, took the Second Place nod:
$1,500 in booty and a commemorative trophy.

Third Place, Can I Sit Here? takes readers inside the
head of an angst-riddled teen grappling with
indecision. Created by George Alexopoulos (age 19) a video
store clerk from Tenafly, N.J., this entry earned a $1,000
prize and a trophy to boot.

What distinguishes the fifth Rising Stars of Manga
competition from the previous ones is the People's Choice
Award. Twenty finalists were posted online at, and over a one-week period the public was
invited to vote for its favorite. With a total of more
than 4,000 individual votes cast, the decisive winner
of the People's Choice Award is Blue Phoenix: No
Quarter by Michael Shelfer (age 24), an IT specialist from
Sneads, FL. In addition to publication in Rising Stars
of Manga Vol. 5, Michael also receives $500 in prize

The following Runner-Up entries have each earned $500
and an honorary plaque:

Pop Star - Writer T Campbell from Leesburg, VA and
artist Amy Mebberson from Decatur, IL
Chibi Zombies - Creator Ashley Cope from St.
Petersburg, FL
Seed - Creator Morgan Luthi of Sacramento, CA
Modus Vivendi - Writer Andrew Yi from Chino Hills, CA
and artist Jeong Mo Yang of Los Angeles, CA

TOKYOPOP congratulates all of the winners of its fifth
Rising Stars of Manga competition. With fourteen book
contracts signed by new stars rising from the past
competitions, what promise of publication does the future
hold for this year's winners and runners-up? Now that
they have their foot in our door, the future is
theirs! Visit to learn more about these
talented artists.

As the largest English-language publisher of manga in
the world, TOKYOPOP is hailed as a leading
youth-oriented entertainment brand. TOKYOPOP's innovative
product extensions include its pioneering Cine-Manga® book
format, which features colorful flavors of pop
culture's hottest films, television shows and music videos.
The company has expanded its property reach beyond
publishing-TOKYOPOP's television series have been
broadcast in the United States on Cartoon Network, Showtime
and G4Media, and are released on DVD, with consumer
products available at all major retail outlets. The
company's global reach has recently expanded to Europe,
with new offices in the UK and Germany, in addition to
its Los Angeles and Tokyo operations. With nearly 28
million books in print, TOKYOPOP's award-winning
catalogue of licensed and original properties features more
than 200,000 pages of manga compiled over nearly 1,000
manga volumes. Visit for additional

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